Alumna Raina Hackett Receives Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections Travel Grant

August 15, 2023

Raina Hackett at the Dole institute

Congratulations to Sociology alumna Raina Hackett for receiving the Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections Travel Grant!

Raina Hackett (B.A. '21, M.A. '23) is a Legislative Assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives and is performing original research to complete her graduate thesis under the direction of Dr. Ivy Ken. Her project, titled "Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm -- An Intersectional Analysis of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC)," seeks to analyze and retell the legislative history of the WIC program to reveal that there was a key player washed out from its history -- Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Using Black feminist theory and critical race theory, the research employs a comparative narrative analysis to tell a story of WIC that challenges mainstream legislative history. 

Hackett applied for a grant through the Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections at the University of Kansas. The archive is the largest congressional archive in the country outside of the presidential library system. The grant supports researchers' travel expenses to the site. Those selected must give a brief presentation to share their research and discuss how the archive will support their work.

When asked about applying for the grant Hackett says, "I decided to apply for this grant and research at the archive because I found information in my research process that claimed Congresswoman Chisholm and Senator Dole worked on WIC together. As a student also trained in history in my undergraduate years, I found it imperative to find primary sources that could corroborate this claim. Additionally, Senator Dole had a famous, bipartisan relationship with Senator McGovern, where they worked on anti-hunger issues for years across the aisle. I knew that if I could go to this collection, I would find substantial information that would bolster my literature review, which discusses anti-hunger in the 1960s. In sum, applying for the grant was essentially a "no-brainer." I was committed to strengthening my entire argument through the power of primary sources."